What comes to mind when you hear the word Diligence?
I think of the ant that works away during the summer…I felt like a joyful ant growing up.
When I was 5 years old, my family would wake up and get dressed at 4:00am, and we’d drive to work the cotton fields. I would run through the fields carrying jugs of water and placing them strategically under tall weeds to keep cool. I would go back to grab the hoe and help my family work so we could help the beautiful West Texas cotton thrive without weeds hindering their growth.
My mother was a single mom, and I was her only child until I was a teenager. My grandmother lived with us, whom I lovingly called mom as well, and she practically raised me while my mother worked. She had twelve children, and some lived with us.
I sometimes think about how both of my mom’s worked hard all their lives. They were diligent women.
I didn’t get a chance to meet my father until I was older, although I did have eight wonderful uncles that taught me how to tell time, gave me lots of quarters to buy stuff, took me fishing and let me listen to Mr. Roboto by Styx, George Strait, and Neil Diamond – why? Those apparently were some of my favorites! My uncles also showed me how they worked hard at their jobs, and they loved softball. There were so many other endearing memories that were made growing up in a big family. These were diligent men in my life.
Maybe you wonder like I have – what does it mean to be a diligent person?
Diligent comes from the Latin diligere, which means ‘to value highly, take delight in,’ but in English it has always meant careful and hard-working. If you’re a diligent worker, you don’t just bang away at your job; you earnestly try to do everything right.
The Bible defines diligence as: “the effort to do one’s part while keeping faith and reliance on God. In other words, diligence and faith are two sides of the mystery. One does not know how, despite one’s effort, it all works out; but diligence when combined with faith, assures spiritual success.”
I love to work! I love to be diligent in my work! I take delight in it. I love to display beauty and to exhort others. I love people and I love to let them know, without a doubt, that they are seen, valued, and loved! I’ve come to find out that although hard work is good and I’ve spent most of my life being diligent in most things, the most vital things to be diligent in, are the things that God wants for you and has for you.
I didn’t always have that. I’ve had great examples of secular hard work. I didn’t grow up in the church, but since the moment I gave my life to Jesus, I have never turned away. I am diligent in my love for Jesus! Knowing that He would never fail me, leave me, or turn from me is what has sustained me. I’ve had many moments where I found myself learning about biblical diligence and truths that I had never seen modeled. Ecclesiastes 3:1, says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”
In 2018, God taught me to be diligent in my rest. I’ve worked hard all my life and the game changer happened while attending Gateway’s Conference. I had tears running down my face because Robert Morris’ story – being near death’s door—mirrored my story just the year before. We were both healed, by the grace of God. I remember hearing how God commands us – not requests, but commands us— to rest. I now rest diligently.
It’s very important to find balance. Sometimes you must pour more into your marriage, children, or work, but always— yes, always— find time to rest. You are honoring God not only with your body, but with your heart, mind, and soul when you rest.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart…”
Scripture is so important in our day to day lives and I’ve held onto Romans 12:9-11 during different seasons of my life. It says, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”
I’d like to leave you with this important truth…spend time with Jesus and ask Him what he wants you to be diligent in during this season of your life. The Holy Spirit is faithful in hearing and guiding you. God is good, all the time! I pray that your heart becomes diligent – able to make better what has been found in your due season of faith and to take delight in it. God can saturate you with joy in doing the hard things.
I hope, while you’ve read this that you’ve been able to grasp a bit about me, how I grew up and what my heart is. My encouragement for you is to live out what Matthew 22:37 says, “Love your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.”
Grow and be diligent in new things. Go from glory to glory. Much love to you my sweet friends!
We would like to thank Mandy Villarreal for writing this post.